Julien Laurens' Ligue 1 Betting: Distracted PSG Face Montpellier Test & Monaco To Be Held By Caen

Caen - Monaco - Friday 19:30 GMT

This is a very interesting game on Friday evening between Caen (fourth in the table) and Monaco (second). There are eight points between the two teams and Caen could dream of a top two finish if they were to win on Friday. On the other hand, a win for Monaco, against a direct opponent in the race for second place, would be huge for them. So it is a crucial game for both clubs.

Caen struggled between December and mid-February, with only two wins in 12 games in all competitions. They could not stop their bad run but they seem to have turned a corner now after two Ligue 1 wins in a row against Rennes and St Etienne, two teams who are also aiming for a top three finish. They were massive wins for Caen. They have their hopes back and their energy back as well. They are all about energy, playing attacking football and not defending much. It paid off in the last two games. They are hoping that it will be the same against Monaco, who are better defensively than the other two teams.

It is a big task for Caen but in a great atmosphere, they will fancy their chances. They usually do well against Monaco at home in the league (two draws, two wins and a defeat in the last five encounters at the Stade Michel d’Ornano).

For Monaco, it is the second away game in a week after the 0-0 they got at Nantes last weekend. They didn’t play well and were lucky to even get a point. They will have to do much better on Friday evening.

Leonardo Jardim, the manager of Monaco, was not happy at all. The objective is to finish second at the end of the season and with a big game away in Paris against PSG in two weeks, they cannot afford to drop points at Caen, who could close the gap to five points if they win this match. So, Monaco will make sure they are solid defensively first and foremost. That’s why they are second in the table right now. They are not playing well but it is efficient. I think they will get another draw on Friday at Caen.

The odds are in favour of Monaco with an away win is at 3.15. A draw is at 3.20 and a Caen home win is at 3.15.

Vagner Love is favourite to score first at 5.80. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 4.75.

Score prediction: Caen 1 Monaco 1 at 7.50


PSG – Montpellier- Saturday 16:00 GMT

PSG lost their first game of the season, on Matchday 28 last Sunday at Lyon. They were dominated and deserved to lose. They have to bounce back on Saturday afternoon against Montpellier at the Parc des Princes for their first league game since the Lyon defeat. They did win away at St Etienne in the French Cup quarter finals Wednesday evening in what was a tricky trip. It was a good response from them and they were eager to show that the loss at Lyon was just an accident. They will have to show that again on Saturday.

The only bad news for the trip to St Etienne is the injury of Matuidi. He picked up a strain in his hamstring and he will miss this game and could also miss the one against Chelsea next week in the Champions League. This is the big problem for Paris before this Montpellier match. All the players will be thinking about the clash with Chelsea. They probably won’t really be focused on the one against Frederic Hantz’s players. They are still 23 points clear at the top of the table and now that their dream of staying unbeaten for the whole season is over, they might switch off a bit in the league.

That’s why Montpellier feel they have a chance to get something out of this game on Saturday. They are experiencing a revival since the arrival of Hantz on the bench. He has been there for six matches and the team won four, drew one and lost only one. They have been scoring goals for fun too: eight in their last three league games, all victories as well. So they are on a bit of a run and they fancy themselves in this game. However, even if the Parisians are thinking more about Chelsea than about Montpellier, they will still win this game, but narrowly.

The odds are massively in favour of PSG with a home win at 1.45. The draw is at 4.30 and a Montpellier away win is at 8.00.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is favourite to score first at 3.35. My best tip is under 1.5 goals scored in the game at3.25.

Score prediction: PSG 1 Montpellier 0 at 6.00